T Nation

ActivitiesGuy Log II: Kettlebells + Yoga

(Updated 10/8/2015)

Old log can be found here:

For the New Year, I decided to start a new log, as I decided to focus my training more than last year by sticking to a couple of themes. I tend to natter on, so here’s the Cliff Notes of my background:

28 years old
210 LBS

Three-sport HS athlete (Football, Wrestling, Track)
College football player (40 games played, 29 starts)
Semi-competitive distance runner from 2008-2012
Now, just trying to be strong, conditioned, and healthy

Training Outline (obviously this has changed a few times within the log):

3-4 mornings per week will feature a barbell session at the gym I joined (as of 8/3) that will be focused on power cleans, deadlifts, and pull-ups. 1-2 mornings per week will be a short kettlebell session at home; occasionally I have an early-morning meeting that makes it impractical to go to the gym, so I’ll get a quick 15-minute KB session in with high intensity and short rests (one favorite is 15 sets of 10 swings with my 88-pounder EMOM).

Weekends will usually feature a hot yoga class in the morning. I first dabbled with hot yoga in 2010; since then, I’ve (mostly) been to at least one hot yoga class a week and plan to keep that as a lifelong habit. I’m not good about doing mobility work or stretching of any kind before/after workouts, so I figure that going to a yoga class every week makes up for that somewhat.

When I travel over weekends (which happens at least once a month, be it for work or personal reasons), I will do whatever activity is most practical. Could be a yoga class, kettlebell workout, or something in the hotel’s fitness room.

Tools Available:

  1. Kettlebell Collection

a) My apartment: 26, 35, 44, 44, 53, 88
b) Fiancee’s apartment: 20, 25, 35, 45, 62

  1. Spinning Bike (in my own apartment)

  2. Gym (~1 mile from apartment)

  3. Hot Yoga Studios (2 studios within ~2 miles from apartment)

Performance & Physique Goals

Height: 5’11"
Weight: 200 LBS

KB Snatch: 100 x 53-LBS (recent PR: 60 x 44-LBS, 7/24/2015)
Power Clean: 1 x 225 LBS (recent PR: 1 x 225 LBS, 8/14/2015)
Deadlift: 1 x 405 LBS (recent PR: 1 x 385 LBS, 10/8/2015)
Pull-Ups: 1 x 20 (recent PR: 1 x 10, a bunch of times)

Monday 1/5 (AM)

A1. KB Swing 20x45
A2. Lat Pulldowns 10x110, 120, 130, 140, 150, 150, 150, 150
A3. Chest Press 10x110, 120, 130, 140, 150, 160, 170, 200

Eight rounds. Done with my GF (expect to see her mentioned periodically in this log; she is a primarily a running-and-yoga girl who has become progressively more enthusiastic about including kettlebell work for cross-training). When she visits for a weekend, a workout like this is nice because it is easily done in tandem; she can do swings while I am on the Universal, and we can play “follow the leader” while easily adjusting the weights (on the machines) and using our own respective kettlebells. She has even tried a few swings with the 45 and looked pretty good doing it.

My 62-pounder should be delivered today. I will play with it for awhile after I get home from work tonight.

Looking forward to following your new log!

[quote]ActivitiesGuy wrote:

Performance/Physique Goals for 2015


Why not shoot for an even 6’00" in 2015?

[quote]twojarslave wrote:

[quote]ActivitiesGuy wrote:

Performance/Physique Goals for 2015


Why not shoot for an even 6’00" in 2015?

I gave up on this long ago, lol.

My dad is 6’4" and my grandfather is 6’7" - and I was 5’10" by eighth grade, so I’d have bet anything that I was going to end up well over 6 feet tall. Instead, I was fully grown at 5’11" by tenth grade.

In for the new log!

I sort of feel your pain. I was 6’4 about 250 in 8th grade and lost about 35lbs to start my second year of high school basketball. It REALLY sucked when I stopped growing and the point guard was taller than I was. Luckily with my size and strength (I was strong compared to the typical rail thin high school b-ball player) I was still a really good defender and rebounder to keep my playing career going. Sort of the Dennis Rodman / Ben Wallace type player. If only I could’ve kept grown and hit 6’8" and not get my shot blocked by the point guard :frowning:

Monday 1/5 (PM)

A1. KB Swing 20x45
A2. Lat Pulldown 6x150
A3. KB Clean-N-Press 3x62 (each hand)

Five rounds.

B1. KB Swing 10x62
B2. Lat Pulldown 6x160

Five rounds.

Tested the waters with my new 62 pounder tonight. Love it. Good investment.

Armed and ready for the New Year. Time to do some work.

Tuesday 1/6 (AM)

A1. KB Swing 10x62
A2. KB Clean-N-Press 3x45 (each hand)
A3. Wide-Grip Lat Pulldown 10x110, 120, 130, 140, 150, 150, 150
A4. Chest Press 10x110, 120, 130, 140, 150, 160, 200

Seven rounds.

Staying away from the University gym for a week or two…the first two weeks each semester, the gym is packed with kids who are just starting their new schedule of classes and have resolved to work out early in the morning before their 8:30 classes. Motivation soon flags and they stop showing up (at least, in the morning) - so I’ll wait til the crowds thin out a bit before resuming the daily morning pull-ups, instead opting for more of the kettlebell-and-pump style workouts that have become my fancy.

Tuesday 1/6 (PM)

Spinning Bike (25 Minutes)

Wednesday 1/7 (AM)

A1. KB Swing 20x45
A2. DB Press 8x30’s (slow, controlled)
A3. EZ-Bar Curl 8x65 (slow, controlled, with squeeze)
A4. KB Swing 10x62

Five rounds.

B1. KB Clean-N-Press 1x62 (each hand)

Sixteen single reps (stepped back and reset each rep, but no more than 15-20 seconds rest). That concluded the main body of the workout. I then did an extra set of 10 swings with the 62-pounder and one clean-and-press rep to put on video, which I’ll upload here shortly.

Let’s see if this works…attempting to upload a video of the last demo set of 10 swings with the 62-pound kettlebell. Hopefully it doesn’t come out sideways…it seems to load fine in my QuickTime player but sideways in my Windows Media Player.

Crap. It’s sideways. Ah well. Anyways. I’ll post a vid every few weeks to serve as part physique-progress, part how-do-I-look-and-feel-doing-this-exercise.

Swinging the 62 is fun. Have to really focus on being explosive with the heavier weight. Also, just a few sessions with it have convinced me that the heavier work stimulates me in a way that infinitely-many swings with the lighter bell cannot. There’s definitely a place for both the 45-pounder and 62-pounder in my program. And soon, an 88-pounder. I’ll have fun mixing and matching low-rep work with heavier bells in with higher-rep sets of swings with the 45 pounder.

Wednesday 1/7 (PM)

A1. KB Clean-N-Press 1x62 (each hand)
A2. EZ Bar Curl 5-8 x 65

Twenty rounds.

Set a timer for one minute. Did a clean and press with each hand, then stepped forward to my EZ curl bar and did slow, controlled curl reps until the timer beeped again. By round twenty, I was feeling pretty good. Fun stuff.

Thursday 1/8 (AM)

250 Swings x 62-LB Kettlebell (20 Minutes)

Set a timer for one minute, did 10 swings EMOM for a while, then upped to 15 per set somewhere along the line. So the “250” number is approximate, I don’t know exactly how far along I was when I started doing more reps. Anyways, this was a quick, fun workout for 7 AM.

Two other notes:

I weighed myself this morning…and I’m a bit heavier than I expected (211 pounds), but not too worked up. I plan to go more by the mirror and feel than by the scale, but I do want to keep an eye on my weight, and I absolutely SHOULD be able to get to a (leaner) 195 pounds while progressing towards my strength goals (improving pull-up performance to 10x10 and clean-and-pressing an 88-pound kettlebell with each hand).

And, a physique check-in photo. I plan to post these monthly from now on. Not so much because I expect radical progress from one month to the next, but because it should keep me accountable and it will be nice to document things along the way.

I looked at this side-by-side with one month ago and I look pretty much the same, maybe a little more arm development, not any leaner. Not surprised with the holidays disrupting the regular routine, but those excuses are gone now, and I will be able to settle into my lots-of-pullups-and-kettlebell routine for the next several months with no major disruption. Thus, the goal for 2015: keep the arms, keep the shoulders, keep the upper back, lose the love handles.

Friday 1/9 (AM)

275 Swings x 62-LB Kettlebell (20 Minutes)

Made some slight tweaks to my planned program (listed in the first post of this thread), did so for a couple of reasons. Main one being that it’s turned quite cold and miserable in the mornings here and I much prefer the idea of doing a kettlebell workout, showering at home, and then trudging to work (or taking the bus) rather than trudging to the gym at 7 AM for pull-ups. Second reason being that I’d like to trim out a bit and I think doing a couple hundred KB swings every morning for a few weeks will be a good way to jump-start that process.

So for now (at least 6-8 weeks):

Morning - Lots of KB Swings (250-500 reps done in chunks of 10-25 as needed)
Evening - Some KB Clean-N-Press plus some pump work

Later in the year (starting in March?):

Morning - Lots of pull-ups plus some pump work
Evening - Assorted KB workouts (clean and presses, swings)

I think you actually look quite a lot better in the second pic man, definitely noticeably bigger arms and shoulders although possibly slightly less lean.

I like the routine plan :slight_smile:

Friday 1/9 (PM)

A1. KB Clean-N-Press 1x62 (each hand)
A2. Lat Pulldown 6x150

Fourteen rounds of each. Good session.

Saturday 1/10 (AM)

A1. KB Clean-N-Press 1x62 (each hand)
A2. Lat Pulldown 6x150
A3. 1-Arm KB Swings 10x45 (each hand)

Eight rounds, plus…

Finisher: KB Clean-N-Press 5x62 (each hand)

My first real foray into using lots of one armed swings, and I gotta say…I really liked them. Those will have to remain in the KB rotation somewhere! I also have decided to buy an 88 pounder with my next paycheck, for sure. I am quickly getting comfortable with the 62 for some reps, so having an 88 for some heavier work would be good. I still think the 62 would get the most overall use from me but doing some truly maximal effort work with an 88 would be worthwhile, I think.